Homecooked meals on a budget

Sometimes people think that when you live alone, what you eat are mostly instant noodles and takeaways. Well, today i’m here to dispel this myth because i have never eaten a takeaway since i moved to Japan (which is in April) except for the day when i just moved into my new home because it was too late and my new fridge was empty.

I know it’s hard to believe it, but…. I cooked every meal myself!!

This is a whole new experience because i have never really touched the stove back when i was in Singapore because both of my parents cook. It’s AMAZING. I mean about how i picked up cooking for myself. But i admit I do have days when i don’t feel like moving so i have lazy food that i can reach out for which are healthy and filling. Read on, i will teach you how.

Actually i only have a few guidelines to cooking:

  1. Non-oily
  2. Low-carb
  3. High Fibre
  4. High Protein

Yea, so after following all these guidelines you can expect my meals to be really healthy.
When i just moved out into my new place, i was really excited about cooking so my meals looked something like this:

Steamed sweet potato, tomato omelette with matcha latte. Cream cheese and clover honey as dips
Veggie stir-fry, red rice (赤飯), tofu with seasoned anchovies

*red rice is a mixture of brown rice with red bean and it’s super healthy. I bought this while it’s on sale.

What i made for the first visitor to my house:

The sauce is easy. You just need some butter, cornstarch and low fat milk. Garnish with cheese and basil leave.

On weekends, my breakfast tend to be more nutritious because i have more time.

Toast, fish sausage, omlette, matcha latte

But this was just during the first few weeks when i just moved in. Now my everyday breakfast looks like this:

Yogurt, muesli, some leftover dried fruit snack, soy milk

Protein, fiber, protein. Haha

Other meals:

There’s more pumpkin than rice inside, it seems.
Broccoli, wakame seaweed, egg, bee hoon
It’s red because i added ground chilli in it.
With wakame seaweed.

My first attempt at cooking eggs via microwave.
Vitamin A, B, C
Looks a lot but actually i only sliced a small fig bun bought from an artisan bakery by Ai-san!
Korean Cold Noodles (made from instant pack)
Korean dak galbi. Probably the most complex dish of all the dishes.

If you noticed, there are actually quite a few soups i made. I usually have soup for dinner because it’s either i ate a heavy lunch (high calorie). Anyway, the servings i make can last for 2 meals, so it’s economizing and you can save a lot of money instead of eating out.

To be honest, cooking healthy meals is really easy. What i only did was cutting the ingredients up, combine them into a pot or pan and either stir-fry them or boil them into a soup.

Some staples that i MUST have in my fridge:

  • low-fat yogurt
  • soy milk
  • eggs
  • cabbage
  • bread
  • muesli
  • ice cream (just can’t live without it)

Whenever i get some sort of vegetable, eg. cabbage, broccoli etc. i portion it into 4, use cling wrap and wrap them individually so that i have more to eat. The same goes for rice. I cook a lot at a time so i portion them into half-bowl sizes and make them into balls and freeze them so whenever i feel like having rice, i’ll just pop one of them into the microwave. This really helps in preventing overeating and saves A LOT of time.

I invested some money into a good steamer as well such as this:

Lekue steam case

It’s quite pricey but it’s really handy for lazy people like me! I learnt about this cooking tool when i was still homestaying and my homestay mum (a doctor) prepares meals with this everyday. Handy and nutritious!!
Btw, i do not own a rice cooker. This is my rice cooker.😀

Last thing to add, i DO eat JUNK FOOD.I love Doritos, chocolate and ice cream. But no matter how much i love them, i can’t eat them all the time.

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